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James Suckling

James Suckling

After 1,000 2016 Bordeaux wines sampled, James Suckling reveals his ‘top 100’ and final thoughts...

 

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“The wine world can debate whether the 2016 vintage is better than 2015, but the bottom line is that both years are excellent. That’s at least what I found after spending three weeks in Bordeaux with my team tasting 1,200 wines, the largest barrel tasting of my 34-year career as a wine critic.

Indeed Bordeaux’s newest vintage shows wonderful promise, producing dynamic, bright and structured wines, especially on the Left Bank, while the 2015 remains a classic year with slightly more exotic fruit, velvety tannins and ripeness, specifically on the Right Bank.

What we know for sure is that 2016 is one of the best vintages since 2010. I would rate it ahead of 2000 and 2003, as well as every vintage in the 1990s except 1990 itself. The only vintages better are 2005, 2009, 2010 and perhaps 2015.

As I wrote a few days ago, 2016 is a Left Bank year. Vineyards in the Médoc and Graves – particularly in the north such as St. Estephe and Pauillac – capitalized on swings in the weather from drought conditions in the summer to light rain in mid-September. Wineries using predominantly cabernet sauvignon made the best wines, as they harvested later than more precocious and merlot-based areas.

Nonetheless, some of my highest rated came from the best parts of Right Bank’s Pomerol and St. Emilion. Angelus, La Conseillante, Lafleur, Le Pin, Pavie, and Petrus all have the potential to be perfect with scores of 99-100 points. Other sensational Right Bank reds include Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarosse, Cheval Blanc, L’Église Clinet, L’Evangile, La Fleur-Pétrus, Pavie Decesse, Rocheyron, and Vieux-Château-Certan. All received ratings of 98-99.

Some of my favorite lesser-appellations include Fronsac, Francs Côtes de Bordeaux, and Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux. These regions make interesting wines at reasonable price in almost every vintage. And in 2016, many made outstanding wines. This holds true in Haut-Médoc in as well.

Dry white wines were very good quality but I think that 2015 is better because of less problems with drought. Sauternes are excellent with plenty of botrytis character but in a refined and structured way.

Most of the outstanding 2016s were also slightly lower in alcohol that past vintages, particularly compared to 2010 and 2009. Some wines were more than 1 percent less in alcohol. Lower alcohol means more freshness and brightness—a neoclassic style that harkens back to the 1980s when wines were less concentrated and extracted compared to those in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


 
The Top 100 Bordeaux En Primeur 2016

1. Château Calon-Ségur St.-Estèphe 2016

Wow. This is the Calon we have been waiting for! Intensity and power. Chewy and polished tannins. Full body, great depth. It goes on for minutes. Shows a classic, historical character that really excites me. The essence of this estate and St.-Estèphe. Best ever?

Score
98-99


2. Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac 2016

I have been waiting for this for a long time. It’s a remake of the legendary 1990 Pichon Baron. Full body, ultra-polished yet powerful tannins and a glorious finish. The will evolve beautifully. The core of fruit and tannins are great. A truly great Pichon Baron.

Score
98-99


3. Château Malescot-St.-Exupery Margaux 2016

This is a superb wine. I didn’t think it could be better than the 2015 but indeed it is. Full, layered and sexy. It goes on for minutes with dense fruit, yet it’s also vivid and showcases sublime tannins and acidity balance. Great finish.

Score
98-99


4. Château Lynch Bages Pauillac 2016

This is really back-ended thanks to a powerful and almost endless finish. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with incredible concentration and length. Round and polished tannins. Layered. This unravels bit by bit. Energetic acidity gives it such superb freshness. This is at the 2010/2009 level.

Score
98-99


5. Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan 2016

This young wine shows such pinpoint precision with a full body, dense fruit and gorgeous intensity. Muscular yet toned and beautiful. It really builds on the finish. Very fine-grained. So long and beautiful. Sophisticated power. Oyster shell and iodine undertones. Traditional style yet with a modern interpretation. Savory.

Score
98-99


6. Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac 2016

Vivid and full of energy with blackberry, currant and salt. Full body, intense and long. Harmony. Purpose. Classicism. The mineral and currant character is all year. A seamless tannin texture. Great wine. You want to drink it now!

Score
98-99


7. Château La Conseillante Pomerol 2016

This is the greatest Conseillante in modern times. Full body and incredible tannins that are polished and velvety. The texture lasts for minutes. I am speechless. What a young and awe-inspiring wine!

Score
99-100


8. Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 2016

Even stronger and more toned than the excellent 2015, this Lafite shows incredible power yet also finesse. Full-bodied, superfine and chewy wine. Muscular yet agile. Goes on for minutes. Stunning. Perhaps the greatest Lafite since the legendary 1959?

Score
100-100


9. Château Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 2016

This is a phenomenal, muscular red that shows incredible power and depth. Full-bodied and with great concentration of tannins but this remains agile and polished. The form to this is stupendous. Such precision and clarity. The new 1986 but better.

Score
100-100


10. Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2016

This is a monument for Haut-Brion and reminds me of the great 1998 but in a modern and bright style. Full-bodied, very tannic and superbly structured yet always agile and vivid. Its energy and dynamic nature grabs you by the shoulder and tells you it’s great. Staggeringly precise. It can’t get better than this, can it?

Score
100-100


11. Château Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan 2016

This is phenomenal with a density and finesse that are hard to remember for this wine. Full-bodied, tight and polished. Seamless texture and salty undertones. Goes on for minutes. Truly great. What a barrel sample.

Score
97-98


12. Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarosse St.-Emilion 2016

Is this the twin brother of the amazing 2015? We will see. What a superb density and richness with bright and intense tannins that are buttressed with fresh acidity. Beautiful finish.

Score
98-99


13. Château Palmer Margaux 2016

I wrote that the 2015 was incredible, and this 2016 is again. It’s equally structured and powerful as the 2015, yet there’s an underlying intellectual serenity to this wine. You taste it, and you want to know and experience it even more. Full and tannic yet ever so polished and beautiful. Mesmerizing. Made from biodynamically grown grapes.

Score
99-100


14. Château Léoville Las Cases St.-Julien 2016

A unique Las Cases that harkens back to some of the great classics such as 1985 or 1986 with its solid backbone of tannins and a walnut, licorice and blackcurrant character. Full and powerful, characterized throughout by a steeliness that shows its strength and energy. Better than the 2015. Ultra-classic.

Score
98-99


15. Château Angélus St.-Emilion 2016

Incredible depth of fruit to this Angélus, which is dense yet also agile and energetic. There’s just so much dynamic fruit and tannin structure. Makes you want to taste and taste. What a young wine! We will see if 2016 is better than 2015. Both are great.

Score
99-100


16. Château Pétrus Pomerol 2016

This is a muscular Petrus that is so compacted and powerful. Full-bodied, yet tight and intense. I haven’t tasted something like this for a long time. The tannins are exquisitely fine-grained, the finish mind-binding. It’s the combination of violets and dark fruit that’s just so enticing. Just crushed grapes and crystal-clear purity.

Score
99-100


17. Château Lafleur Pomerol 2017

This is a young wine that just kicks off at the end with fantastic depth of fruit and intensity. Full-bodied, yet very tight and closed at first. Compact and powerful. Incredible power and structure.

Score
99-100


18. Château Le Pin Pomerol 2016

There is something decadent and wild about this Le Pin. Medium to full body, yet somehow wild and crazy— exotic. What a finish! This is real Le Pin. The dry weather reduced the production. 18 hectoliters. Reminds me of the unique 1986. Yeah...!

Score
99-100


19. Château Pavie St.-Emilion 2016

This is more compressed and tighter than the 2015. It’s full-bodied, but very tight and focused. So linear and long. Love the gorgeous finesse. Goes on for minutes. All about finesse...new profile.

Score
99-100


20. Château Rocheyron St.-Emilion 2016

This shows superb freshness and minerality with a profound purity of fruit and depth. Full-bodied yet remains agile and subtle. Such decadence yet finesse at the finish. A triumph. Perhaps a little more clarity and brilliance to this even compared to the 2015.

Score
98-99


21. Château L'Evangile Pomerol 2016

This is a remake of the great 2015 but it’s much finer and more sophisticated. Such great quality and very sexy. Full body and ultra-polished and clean tannins. Salty, dark fruit. Superb length. Want to drink it!

Score
98-99


22. Château L'Église Clinet Pomerol 2016

This has so much violet and black-olive character to it. It’s full-bodied and powerful with incredible power and depth of old-vine tannins. It just rolls on and on. What a finish.

Score
98-99


23. Vieux-Château-Certan Pomerol 2016

The balance and finesse to this wine are really beautiful with ultra-fine tannins and beautiful fruit. It’s full and structured yet so long and intense. It’s a wine that seduces you with every sip — already. Great selection here. Quite simply turbocharged at the end.

Score
98-99


24. Château Le Gay Pomerol 2016

One of the best Le Gays in years. Full-bodied and polished with superfine tannins. Layered. Goes on for minutes.

Score
98-99


25. Château La Fleur-Pétrus Pomerol 2016

So much to this and it shows the magic of Pomerol. Full-bodied, layered and tannic with all the energy and focus of a great vintage from this estate. Superb.

Score
98-99


26. Château Pavie Decesse St.-Emilion 2016

This has beautiful presence and finesse with lovely fruit, mineral and light walnut character. Center palate is gorgeous. Long and refined. Perhaps better than the superb 2015.

Score
98-99


27. Château Rieussec Sauternes 2016

Lots of botrytis here in addition to dried mushrooms and dried fruit such as pineapple and peaches. Medium to full body. Medium sweet. Very long and intense. A triumph.

Score
98-99


28. Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes 2016

This is really crazy. The layers of fruit to this and the sheer intensity are really superb. Full-bodied and very sweet yet energetic and focused. Dense and tight. Tasted it and said OMG right away!

Score
98-99


29. Château Latour Pauillac 2016

A muscular Latour with a vibrant depth of fruit and power. Superb length and polish. Full-bodied, tight and closed. Fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. Steely and edgy. Strong, regal wine.

Score
98-99


30. Château Margaux Margaux 2016

A purity of fruit marks this Margaux with lots of currant and berry character. Full body, bright acidity and round tannins. It’s a larger and more expanded style of Margaux. A wine with a heart and body. Strong.

Score
98-99


31. Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Blanc 2016

This is dense like a Montrachet yet so minerally with crushed-stone undertones. Full-bodied, layered and powerful. A great glass of white wine. First time they used a majority of sauvignon blanc.

Score
98-99


32. Château Cheval Blanc St.-Emilion 2016

This is very powerful Cheval with searing tannins and bright fruit, acidity and mineral undertones. Full and muscular yet beautifully formed and polished. It’s all about the form to this. Better than 2015.

Score
98-99


33. Château d'Yquem Sauternes 2016

What a sexy and moreish wine that makes you want to drink the whole bottle. Flavors and aromas of cooked apples, grilled pineapple, pie crust, apricots, dried mushrooms and flan. Full-bodied, yet tight and reserved. Very long and powerful. Lasts for minutes. Another great wine.

Score
98-99


34. Château Trottevieille St.-Emilion 2016

The polish and intensity to this are really impressive with such finesse and balance. Full-bodied yet tight and gorgeous. Tight and reserved. Such ethereal beauty. Finish goes on for minutes.

Score
97-98


35. Château Valandraud St.-Emilion 2016

Fantastic core of dark fruit with blackberries, blueberries, licorice and crushed stones. Full body, beautifully polished tannins and a long and energetic finish. Pinpoint. Superb.

Score
97-98


36.Château Péby-Faugères St.-Emilion 2016

This has an incredible finish to it and shows such energy and intensity. Full-bodied yet vivid and energetic. Chewy tannins. Goes on for minutes. Merlot magic.

Score 
97-98

37.Château Pavie-Macquin St.-Emilion 2016

This is a really fantastic PM! The licorice, fresh mushroom, sous bois and stone character is so exciting. It’s full and very layered with exceptional depth and length. Compressed and focused. Pure silk.

Score
97-98

38.Château Cos-d’Estournel St.-Estèphe 2016

The finish is something else here. This is a wine that’s so powerful and tannic yet at the same time so polished and superb on the finish. Full-bodied, beautifully crafted and precise. This is a wine that really grabs your attention. The agility and power are more than impressive. Wow is the word.

Score
97-98

39. Château Montrose St.-Estèphe 2016

A solid and tight Montrose with a linear structure of ripe tannins that gives wonderful length and energy. Full-bodied, yet reserved and toned. Stone and mineral character underneath is impressive. Beautiful center palate. The class and focus are marvelous. Better than 2015. This is what Montrose is all about.

Score
97-98

40.Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St.-Julien 2016

Very focused and reserved with a mineral, blackberry, licorice and blackcurrant character. Full and refined. Walking a tightrope between steely tannins and and dark fruit. This is highly intellectual and unique. Great finish. Remake of the extraordinary 2014? Stronger than the 2015, for sure.

Score
97-98

41. Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux Bordeaux Blanc 2016

This is really exciting with a vivid and energetic acidity and brightness. Lemon rind, pear and mineral character. Full-bodied, tight and long. A winner. Great finish.

Score
97-98

42. Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte Pessac-Léognan 2016

Wow. This is incredibly rich and exotic. Full-bodied, so deep and long. It lasts for minutes. Perfectly polished tannins evidence how texturally focused and supple this is. Decadent and enticing. From organically grown grapes. Super quality of cabernet is on show here. We will see if 2016 is better than 2015.

Score
97-98

43. Magrez Fombrauge St.-Emilion 2016

A rich and chewy red with lots of fruit and tannins. Full-bodied, big and rich. Yet this remains polished and balanced. Exciting fruit character throughout. About one third is made in terracotta jars.

Score
97-98

44. Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan 2016

A dense and tight DC with minerals, crushed stones, cement and blackcurrants. Full, tight and racy. Gorgeous. Leaf and tobacco undertones. Very tannic. Tight. So structured. Complex.

Score
96-97

45. Château d’Issan Margaux 2016

This is so energetic for a young d’Issan with lots of white pepper, crushed stones and blackberries. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and great length. One of the greatest ever. Superb depth and intensity to this real Bordeaux. Wow.

Score
96-97

46. Château Les Carmes-Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2016

Extremely long and erudite with crushed stones, blackberries and blueberries. Hints of fresh herbs. Full-bodied, tight and polished. The balance and beauty are amazing. Salty and minerally. More polished than the 2015. Wait and see. From biodynamic grapes.

Score
96-97

47.Enclos Tourmaline Pomerol 2016

This is very close in quality to the great 2015. Full body yet complex and layered. Very refined. Fine grained tannins. Super tight. A real beauty here. Only 3,000. Beautiful follow up. Second vintage.

Score
96-97

48.Château Giscours Margaux 2016

This is extremely long and linear with a powerful and refined texture of superfine tannins. Full-bodied, yet so tight and polished. The finish is very, very impressive. Snaps at the end. Better than the 2015?

Score
96-97

49.Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac 2016

This is all about the finish with a sweet-tobacco, berry and light milk-chocolate character. Full body, very fine tannins and a juicy finish. Love the intensity and finesse at the end. Lots of energy. Could better the exquisite 2014.

Score
96-97

50. Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte Pessac-Leognan Blanc 2016

A dense and powerful white with wonderful depth and phenolic tension. Shows very pretty sliced-apple, lemon and pear character. Excellent finish. 90% sauvignon blanc with the rest semillon and sauvignon gris. Excellent follow-up to the 2015.

Score
96-97

51. Château Tour Saint Christophe St.-Emilion 2016

This is superb: a triumph for the vintage considering how complicated it was in St.-Emilion. Elegance with power. Full-bodied, intense and forthright. Wonderful length and depth. Better than the 2015.

Score
96-97

52. Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2016

The texture to this is very beautiful with chewy yet very polished tannins. Full-bodied, tight and mouth-filling. Starts very slowly and then takes off. Love the energy in this.

Score
96-97

53. Château Le Bon Pasteur Pomerol 2016

Reminds me of the splendid 1998. Full-bodied yet balanced and rich, showing velvety tannins and a long and beautiful finish. All here. Better than the 2015?

Score
96-97

54. Château Haut-Brion Blanc Pessac-Léognan Blanc 2016

Layered with a round and rich texture and body. Full and flavorful. Lots of dried-apple and pineapple character. Very long finish. Exotic and ripe. We will see which is better.

Score
96-97

55. Château Branaire-Ducru St.-Julien 2016

This is clearly the best wine I have tasted from Branaire-Ducru. Exquisite depth and richness are on offer, yet this is always framed and focused. Layers of fruit and tannins. So deep and long. Incredible quality.

Score
95-96


56.Château Bellevue Mondotte St.-Emilion 2016

There’s a vibrance and brilliance that gives this wine focus and energy. Medium body, ultra-fine tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Very fine.

Score
96-97

57. Château Lagrange St.-Julien 2016

Powerful red with a rich and tannic center palate. Full body, lots of depth and a long and chewy finish. Indeed, this shows potential. Much better than the 2015.

Score
95-96

58. Château Gruaud-Larose St.-Julien 2016

Full-bodied, layered and juicy young wine. Very tannic yet ripe and intense. Powerful finish. This will be excellent. Better than the 2015.

Score
95-96

59. Château Léoville Barton St.-Julien 2016

Tight and chewy with a solid tannin structure and depth of fruit. Full body and lots of depth and texture. A Barton with lots happening already. Develops beautifully on the palate. Should be better than the 2015.

Score
95-96

60. Le Dôme St.-Emilion 2016

Plenty of fruit density and richness with plum and blueberry character. Medium to full body, juicy finish. Very attractive already. Layered and so fine. Beautiful polish. Love it already. Very long finish.

Score
95-96

61. Château La Gaffelière St.-Emilion 2016

Dynamically and minerally young wine with blackberry and blueberry character. Full body. Firm tannins and a fresh finish. Shows structure and intensity. Focused and classy. Love the finish.

Score
95-96

62. Château Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan 2016

This is so linear and refined with compacted fruit and superb tannin texture. The length and beauty to this grab you immediately and make you pay attention. Wait and see.

Score
95-96

63. Château Rauzan-Ségla Margaux 2016

A solid red with currant and blackberry character. Full body, soft tannins and a flavorful finish. Shows richness and excitement. Juicy and sexy undertone to this.

Score
96-97

64. Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Blanc 2016

A white with sliced apple, pear and lemon character. Medium to full body, layered and so long. Tight and exciting. So salty and minerally. Structured. Phenolic intensity and all wound up. What a white!

Score
96-97

65. Château Trotanoy Pomerol 2016

Wow. This is really powerful and structured with a tight and linear backbone of tannins that run through the wine, making it a solid and beautiful thing. Full-bodied, layered and strong. Exciting energy here.

Score
97-98

66. Calicem St.-Emilion 2016

Very minerally on the palate with limestone and dark-berry undertones. Full and chewy red. Structured. New super single-vineyard red from Couvent des Jacobins.

Score
95-96

67. Château Certan de May Pomerol 2016

This is really powerful with big tannins and strong acidity. Full and intense. A wine for long-term aging yet one that offers accessibility at the same time. This estate is on a roll now.

Score
97-98

68. Château Bélair-Monange St.-Emilion 2016

A very dense and pretty center palate of dried fruit, spices and dried tobacco. Medium to full body, chewy tannins and a savory finish. Linear and racy. Tight and reserved now but wait to see the structure develop fabulously.

Score
95-96

69. Château Bellevue St.-Emilion 2016

This is very exciting this year with a profound depth and power of fruit in addition to mineral undertones. Full and intense. Great finish. Better than the 2015?

Score
97-98

70. Château Canon St.-Emilion 2016

Very intense aromas already of pure berry, mineral and spice. Full body yet refined and tight with gorgeous linear and refined character. Beautiful and classic beauty.

Score
96-97

71. Château Ausone St.-Emilion 2016

This is one of the most subtle and ethereal Ausones I have encountered in a while. It’s a full-bodied wine, yet one that’s very refined in texture, all the way to the extremely long finish. Shows real dignity and character. A throwback to the great years of the 1950s.

Score
97-98

72. Château Larcis-Ducasse St.-Emilion 2016

This is very polished and beautiful with ultra-fine tannins and a long, linear finish. It has a density and beauty that seduces you.

Score
95-96

73. Pensées de Lafleur Pomerol 2016

Very long and textured with blackberry, mineral and walnut character. Turns to violets. Full-bodied, very firm and silky. Love the balance and length. This is half merlot and half cabernet franc. Second wine of Lafleur. Better than the 2015?

Score
95-96

74. Château Troplong Mondot St.-Emilion 2016

Tar and blackberries here on the palate with very polished tannins and dense, beautiful fruit. Tight and centered. Wow. Can it be better than the 2015? We will see.

Score
96-97

75. Château Pichon Longueville Lalande Pauillac 2016

Linear and racy with ultra-fine tannins and a gorgeous center palate. Full-bodied, tight and so polished. The classicism and beauty are exceptional. Love the texture. Better than 2015?

Score
96-97

76. L’If St.-Emilion 2016

This is incredibly refined and long with super finesse and length. Full-bodied, deep and beautiful. Subtle chocolate and walnut aromas and flavors. Pure merlot this year. Sexy and sophisticated at the same time.

Score
96-97

77. Château Cos-d’Estournel Bordeaux Blanc 2016

A layered and deep white with beautiful fruit giving mango, sliced-lemon and green-pineapple character. Full-bodied and so flavorful. Love the phenolic balance. One of the best dry whites of the vintage.

Score
96-97

78. Château Figeac St.-Emilion 2016

Splendid texture and finesse to this young Figeac with a pure silk texture. Full-bodied and ultra-fine. Lovely combination of fruit and freshness. The polish is gorgeous to this. Precision redefined. Pretty follow-up to the 2015.

Score
96-97

79. Château Hosanna Pomerol 2016

This really shows a lot at the end of the palate with a powerful, tannic finish. Even so, the fruit and flavor profile are very, very impressive. Lots of dark fruit and walnut undertones. Muscular Hosanna.

Score
96-97

80. Château La Violette Pomerol 2016

Juicy and fruity red with round tannins and a delicious finish. It’s tight and reserved yet offers so much on the center palate. Gorgeous.

Score
96-97

81. Clos Fourtet St.-Emilion 2016

This is a solid and structured 2016 with fabulous density and freshness. Full-bodied yet vibrant and exciting. Wow. We will see.

Score
95-96

82. La Mondotte St.-Emilion 2016

Extremely polished and refined red showing blackberry, cedar and milk-chocolate character. Full-bodied and extra long on the finish with such elegance. Love the hint of acidity at the end.

Score
96-97

83. Château Palmer Margaux Alter Ego 2016

This is very concentrated yet soft and fresh in texture. Full-bodied and round and mouth-filling. So impressive how it fills your mouth yet remains fresh. It’s so framed.

Score
95-96

84. Château d’Armailhac Pauillac 2016

This is really tannic and muscular for d’Armailhac. Perhaps the most powerful ever. Full and chewy yet balanced and polished. Very, very impressive. Greatest ever?

Score
95-96

85. Château Nenin Pomerol 2016

A linear and dense wine that sneaks up on you with fantastic depth of fruit and structure. Full and racy. Shows finesse and muscle. Better than 2015?

Score
95-96

 

86. Le Petit Mouton de Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 2016

This is a very powerful Petit Mouton with so much rich fruit and power. Full-bodied, tannic yet polished and long. Muscular for the second wine of Mouton.

Score
95-96

87. Château Brane-Cantenac Margaux 2016

This is really strong from Brane-Cantenac this year with toned muscles and beautiful fruit. Full-bodied, chewy and polished. Shows wonderful intensity and density yet remains reserved and very tight. Very impressive from here. Grabs you. One of the best ever from here.

Score
95-96

88. Château Durfort-Vivens Margaux 2016

This is really superb with beautiful density and ripe tannin texture. Full body and a round and polished texture. Rich and impressive but all in class. Made from biodynamic grapes. Almost all cabernet sauvignon.

Score
95-96

89. Château Batailley Pauillac 2016

I thought the 2015 defined the new Batailley, but this is fantastic. Full-bodied and so tannic and powerful. Flavors of chocolate, coffee and spices. Excellent finish. Very muscular. Tight and precise.

Score
95-96

90. Château Léoville Poyferré St.-Julien 2016

The buildup on the palate is impressive with blackberry and blueberry character. Plenty of currants, too. Full-bodied, linear and tight. Racy tannins and a long finish. Shows tension, depth, real raciness and pure finesse. A combination of the best from both 2009 and 2010.

Score
95-96

91. Château Suduiraut Sauternes 2016

This has so much botrytis/spice character. Dried-mushroom powder as well. Full yet round and gorgeous. Exuberant softness. Very sweet and complex. Complete Sauternes.

Score
95-96

92. Château Berliquet St.-Emilion 2016

This is a really powerful red with fantastic density and richness. Silky and chewy tannins. Lots of chalky, crushed limestone character. Impressive. Let’s see what is better: the 2016 or 2015.

Score
95-96

93. Château de Pressac St.-Emilion 2016

This is really fantastic in 2016 with beautiful balance and depth of fruit. Focused and tight palate. Full-bodied and super long. Wonderful.

Score
95-96

94. Château Meyney St.-Estèphe 2016

Solid and incredible depth reminds me of the Meyneys of the 1960s that were so structured and incredible. Full-bodied yet polished and refined. Super structure.

Score
95-96

95. Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc 2016

Dense and chewy already with plenty of ripe tannins and bright fruit. Vivid acidity. Full body, a firm and silky texture and a flavorful finish. Lots going on. Excellent follow-up to the great 2015!

Score
94-95

96. Château Siran Margaux 2016

This is a great follow-up to the 2015! Full-bodied, chewy and powerful. Solid core of ripe fruit and intense tannins. A triumph... again.

Score
94-95

97. Clos St.-Martin St.-Emilion 2016

This is really excellent. Deep and rich with a beautiful depth of fruit and silky tannins. I am excited about this one. Big upgrade in quality.

Score
95-96

98. Château Canon-La Gaffelière St.-Emilion 2016

Lovely silky texture and dark fruit to this wine underlining richness and decadence. Medium to full body and a long finish.

Score
95-96

99. Château Phélan Ségur St.-Estèphe 2016

A super fragrant red with blackberry and blueberry aromas plus hints of blackcurrants. Full-bodied, powerful and structured. Tannic. Very long finish. A muscular and intense wine.

Score
94-95

100. Château Labégorce Margaux 2016

This may be the best Labégorce ever. Full-bodied and dense yet vivid and energetic. Greatness in the making.

Score
94-95